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Israeli strike near Saida, court officers end strike, over 29,000 killed in Gaza: Everything you need to know to start your Tuesday

Here is what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Israeli strike near Saida, court officers end strike, over 29,000 killed in Gaza: Everything you need to know to start your Tuesday

Smoke billows from the site of a reported Israeli air raid in the southern Lebanese city town of Ghaziyeh, around 30 Kilometres from the border with Israel, on Feb. 19, 2024. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)

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Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 136 of the Israel-Hamas war here.

Israel bombed Ghazieh, south of Saida, injuring at least 13 people including four children. Israel’s bombardment hit three warehouses containing oil barrels, fuel tanks as well as scrap metal and tires. A shopkeeper in the area told L’Orient Today’s correspondent he was propelled several meters by the blast which was preceded by the sound of missiles and followed by screaming. The Israeli army claimed to have been targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot after a drone, unclaimed by the party, fell in northern Israel. Lebanon instructed its UN representative to file a complaint last week after Israeli airstrikes killed 10 civilians, including several children. The Lebanese Foreign Ministry called for international condemnation of continued Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon, describing them as attempts “to extend the war and drag Lebanon into it.” After last week’s strike, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said that the party would “escalate” its cross-border attacks, warning Israel that it had entered an equation of “civilians versus civilians.”

Court officers returned to work yesterday after a 20-day strike demanding improved compensation citing “improvements” to the Mutual Fund of Judicial Officers and meetings with caretaker Justice Minister Henri Khoury. The judicial employees’ statement said further action was pending the cabinet’s decision on public sector “salaries and remuneration.” The Higher Judicial Council last week approved the interim appointment of nearly sixty judges in an attempt to dislodge judiciary congestion. Some 86 percent of incarcerated people in Lebanon have yet to be tried, according to a report published last August by Human Rights Watch.

At least 29,092 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s health ministry.

Unheeding international warnings against an invasion of Rafah, Israel said it plans six to eight weeks more of full-scale fighting as it expands into Gaza’s southernmost city — the last bastion for more than one million displaced Palestinians. A Hamas official speaking to Reuters claimed the group is ready and able for a prolonged conflict, claiming that they have only lost 6,000 of its fighters – half of the 12,000 that Israel claims to have killed.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Does Lebanon need a ‘lollar’ worth LL25,000?

Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz

Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up.Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 136 of the Israel-Hamas war here.Israel bombed Ghazieh, south of Saida, injuring at least 13 people including four children. Israel’s bombardment hit three warehouses containing oil barrels, fuel tanks as well as scrap metal and tires. A shopkeeper in the area told L’Orient Today’s...